In 1994, Lynyrd Skynyrd decided to give some of their iconic songs the acoustic treatment, and the result was their eighth album, Endangered Species. Along with some new material, the album features acoustic versions of some of the band's biggest hits, including "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Saturday Night Special."
One of the other songs the band rerecorded for the album is, "Poison Whiskey." Although never released as a single, "Poison Whiskey" was included on the band's debut album in 1973, (pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd), which was highly successful as whole. The album ended up peaking at the 27th spot on the Billboard chart and has been certified Double Platinum by the RIAA.
Written by the band's late lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and former guitarist Ed King, the song's lyrics tell the story of an alcoholic father who drinks to his demise. As the narrator reveals, "The only thing that was wrong with him/Was Johnny Walker's Red/He drank ole poison whiskey/'Til it killed him dead."
Overall, the song speaks about the overwhelming power of addiction, and how it prevents people from living quality lives. The narrator tries to emphasize this point in the form of a warning at the end of the song, singing, "Take a tip from me, people... brothers can't you see/Ain't no future in ole poison whiskey."
For the rerecording of "Poison Whiskey" in 1994, Johnny Van Zant took over as lead vocalist, singing his brother's part. King was still with the band to play along on the song that he wrote over two decades before, and played guitar, mandolin, and acoustic guitar throughout all of Endangered Species.
Despite the dark story and message of "Poison Whiskey," the 1994 acoustic version has a fun, upbeat feel to it. The song starts out and ends with instrumentals, and also features an instrumental break in the middle of the song, complete with a piano solo from Billy Powell. Between Johnny's vocals and all of the talented musicians in the band, this song is a perfect showcase of Lynyrd Skynyrd's talents.
You can listen to the acoustic rerecording of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Poison Whiskey" below.
As you listen to the song, don't be surprised if you find yourself grooving along to the beat!
Lynyrd Skynyrd's 'Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd & Second Helping Live' is available now on DVD, Blu-ray and digital formats - it's the perfect gift for the Lynyrd Skynyrd fan in your life. Buy it here on Amazon!
Interested in becoming a partner?
Contact us for more info.